When The Entire Organization Failed, One Friend Helped Me On My Period

Is menstruation not an emergency? The simple inclusion of a sanitary pad in the monthly budget seems like a small gesture, but it can make a significant difference in someone's life.

As soon as I stepped into my office that day, an unusual sensation signalled that my period might arrive unexpectedly. Thanks to my PCOS, I often received false alarms like this, so I wasn’t overly concerned. My menstrual cycles were consistently irregular, making it impossible to predict when “Aunt Flow” would visit. Since it had only been about a month since my last cycle, I was relatively relaxed about the possibility of getting my period that day (regularity was a rare occurrence for me!)

The day was particularly hectic as I was working as a management intern at a large multinational insurance company. To my surprise, I began experiencing strong symptoms that indicated my period was indeed imminent. Panic set in as I realized I had forgotten to restock my handbag with sanitary pads after my last use. 

Fortunately, one of my friends, Sangeetha, was also interning with me.

“Do you happen to have any sanitary pads?” I urgently inquired.

“Let me check, but I doubt it,” Sangeetha replied.

Anxiety was building within me because, among the entire office staff, there was only one other female coworker I knew of. Nevertheless, I assumed the office must have some emergency supplies.

“I don’t have any, Jaya, I’m sorry. What will you do now?” she asked.

“I’ll check with the front office, the admin staff might have some,” I replied with a semblance of confidence.

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I approached the front office, but regrettably, they didn’t have any either.

“Is there any emergency supply in the office?” I asked the admin staff, feeling increasingly nervous.

“No, we don’t keep any such supplies. We have very few female employees, so it’s never been a consideration,” she replied.

“Have you never faced such emergencies?” I questioned, my anxiety mounting.

“Yes, of course, we manage with tissue rolls,” she explained. “You can use tissues temporarily,” she suggested.

“Fine, I’ll manage,” I replied as I rushed to the restroom. To my frustration, the restroom was stocked with an abundance of tissue rolls, automatic hand soap dispensers, and air freshener refills, but not a single sanitary pad. This was a goddamned MNC, I was seething with anger. At this point, I had no choice but to use tissues. My friend had also entered the restroom by then.

“Jaya, are you alright?” she asked from outside the stall.

Tears welled up in my eyes, a mixture of anger and regret. The flow was much heavier than I had anticipated, and the tissues were hardly a suitable solution for long-term use. How could I forget to stock up? I was all the more embarrassed now.

“I think so, but I need to find a pad soon,” I replied.

“There are no nearby shops. Where will you find one?” she reasoned. She was right; it was a bustling corporate area with no convenience stores nearby.

“I don’t know…” my voice cracked as I was feeling hopeless. 

“Wait, maybe we can ask some friends for help,” I suggested, recalling a classmate, Sri Devi, who lived relatively close by. Without further thought, I called her.

Sri was initially taken aback but assured me she would help. We hardly spoke, I just had her number as a classmate. Fortunately, she had chosen to work on her report from home that day. In less than 30 minutes, Sri arrived at the office gate on her two-wheeler, carrying a pack of sanitary pads. Tears of relief filled my eyes as I gratefully accepted the pack.

I hugged Sri and thanked her profusely for her timely assistance.

When I think of it now, I feel every organization should prioritize the implementation of a menstruation policy. The simple inclusion of a sanitary pad in the monthly budget seems like a small gesture, but it can make a significant difference in someone’s life. Is menstruation not an emergency? Not all people who menstruate are women. Moreover, every menstrual cycle is unique to the individual. Therefore, it’s important to have these policies so that in times of emergencies, people who bleed are not left out without the support they need.

Image source: YouTube

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Savitha Sampath

A passionate mom, Writer @Women's Web, Digital Marketing Consultant, an avid learner, and a foodie read more...

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